A Fox Business Network host has been suspended amid sexual allegations brought up against him by a former female commentator.
Charles Payne, who hosts “Making Money,” admitted he had a “romantic relationship” with a political analyst, who had worked for CNN, for about three years, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We take issues of this nature extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy for any professional misconduct,” a Fox Business Network spokesman said in a statement to the newspaper. “This matter is being thoroughly investigated and we are taking all of the appropriate steps to reach a resolution in a timely manner.”
The allegations against Payne are being investigated by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison — the same firm that had probed the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, in previous sexual harassment claims against other personalities and executives.
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The accuser, who wasn’t named, told the law firm she was booted from the network after ending her affair with Payne and trying to report him to Fox News executives, sources told the Times. The woman alleges her TV appearances were cut back instantly.
She’s also working with her lawyer to file a lawsuit against the network and Payne. She claims she stayed in a relationship with Payne because she thought it would benefit her career by landing a permanent position at Fox, sources told the newspaper.
The woman had tried to discuss her situation with Payne and Fox News executive Bill Shine but was unsuccessful. Shine resigned from the network on May 1.
Neal Koval, an attorney for Payne, says his client denies having any sexual contact with the woman.
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The recent sexual harassment claims come after the right-leaning network fired its star, Billy O’Reilly, who was also accused of the same reasons.
Ex-Fox News Latino Vice President Francisco Cortes was accused by a longtime political commentator, Tamara Holder, of sexually assaulting her two years ago. Holder and 21st Century Fox settled the allegations for $ 2.5 million, the New York Times reported in March.
The most shocking Fox News departure was that of former boss Roger Ailes — who resigned last summer amid sexual harassment claims but received a golden parachute of $ 60 million.
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